What is a good toy for a special needs child?

Whether you are a parent, a caregiver or a birthday party guest it may be challenging to choose a toy for a special needs child. The more information you have about the child, the easier it will be to make the choice so you might want to ask:telefonino2

♦ Is the child working on any specific skills, such as gripping or cutting (fine motor) or jumping (gross motor)?

♦ Does the child have any specific dislikes, such as loud music or flashing lights?

♦ What is the child’s favorite type of play? Dress up? Art? Puzzles? Riding toys?

♦ Who is the child’s favorite character? What is the child’s favorite movie or show or song?

There are a few tools that will help you choose a toy that will not only give the child lots of fun playtime but also might just prove educational or otherwise beneficial:

The Toys R Us Guide for Differently Abled Kids breaks toys down into different skill sets to make shopping less overwhelming and more specific. The guide is available online and also in print in brick & mortar Toys R Us stores. You can order the toys online from Toys R Us or use the guide as research and buy them at any retailer.

Also from Toys R Us is the Faces of Autism slide show of beautiful portraits and the 10 Toys That Speak to Autism selection. Check each toy’s description for its features and benefits.

AblePlay offers offers a rating system, search engine and reviews of toys for special needs kids. You can buy the items online or use the site for research. There are also message boards and blogs on the site, as well as articles and even the ability to build a wish list for your child. AblePlay’s press release gives more information about the site.

The Toys R us guides as well as AblePlay rely heavily on input from Lekotek, which is being threatened by budget cuts in Illinois. Lekotek offers programs and family support in many states and there is info on the site about starting one in any location.

About the Author

Rosie Reeves is a writer and mother of three; including one with special needs. She works side-by-side with her daughter’s therapists, teachers and doctors. Rosie has also served as the Los Angeles Special Needs Kids Examiner. She can be reached at rosie327@aol.com. Rosie is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


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